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Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

Posted on: September 7, 2011 5:28 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 12:53 pm

By: Adam Gretz

Even though there hasn't been an official announcement from the NHL or any of the teams involved, it hasn't exactly been a well-kept secret that the 2012 Winter Classic will be played in Philadelphia with the Flyers hosting the New York Rangers on Jan. 2.

This week the Flyers organization sent a letter to its season ticket holders all but confirming the Winter Classic will in fact take place in Philadlphia on that date. According to Sarah Baicker of CSN Philadelphia, the letter includes the following section:
“The Flyers will host the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic! You will notice that only 43 games are included in your ticket and parking book(s). Winter Classic tickets are not a part of your 2011-12 season ticket package. However, all full season ticket holders will have the ability to purchase up to same number of Winter Classic Packages as 2011-12 full season seats you own.”
It's pretty much guaranteed the venue will be Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies, as the football stadium in Philadelphia -- Lincoln Financial Field -- will be occupied the day before for a game between the Eagles and Washington Redskins. There is absolutely zero chance the stadium can be transferred over to hockey in that amount of time. Preparations in recent years (Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago and Buffalo) have taken more than a week.

It will be the second time in three years the Flyers will be involved in the now annual outdoor game, having visited the Boston Bruins at Fenway park during the 2009-10 season. The Bruins won the game in overtime, 2-1, thanks to a goal from Marco Sturm. Even though this will only be the fifth year for the Winter Classic the Flyers are the second team to get another outdoor appearance, joining their cross-state rivals from Pittsburgh who have also played in the game twice (they hosted Washington last year and played in the innagural game in Buffalo).

It will be the Rangers first appearance in the game.

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:39 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: May 13, 2011
Posted on: September 9, 2011 1:05 am

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

bettman loves Pennslyvania.

Bored with these "winter classics" already.

Like to see the Avs host an outdoor game on some alpine lake. Make it a REAL outdoor game, you know in and around a natural setting.

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: September 9, 2011 12:02 am

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

I knew that post would draw criticism, and I was waiting to read the tv ratings for the Pens again.   I'm well aware of Pit's numbers and ratings, but that is only a regional number that doesn't reflect anything nationally, not to mention the Pens don't have nearly as much competition from local sports as the other big markets.   If Pit had an NBA team, you would see numbers similar to what  we see in the other markets that have both, and that kills the NHL ratings when they're in direct competition, even the last few years.   The Pens are very hot right now, but they don't bring in the revenue that some of the larger hockey markets do outside their market based on Forbes and other business journal numbers the last 12 years.

The Wild, for example, (as bad as they've been) have brought in much more revenue to the league from hockey operations than the Pens since Minnesota entered the league because it's a more valuable hockey market.     There's a good argument that Pit, Buf, NJ, SJ, Was, and Col would all be good candidates for the WC, but in terms of getting the most sponsorship dollars and the most tvs to tune in at any given time in any given year, I think the league would be best served by having the franchises from the markets I mentioned featured as long as they were competitve for the post season.    It's about national exposure, Sabre fans for example are as good or better than any fans, but there is more attraction to Boston or NY across the country because of population, it's just a volume thing, that's my opinion.

Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: September 8, 2011 11:02 pm

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

I'm SO sick of the NHL shoving the Flyers down our throats! Not really, but I recall some Flyer fans saying the same about the Pens when the announcement was made last season.

As far a hockey viewing cities, Buffalo is a good hockey viewing city that no one has mentioned.

This was taken from an article written five days ago:

In fact, the 8+ rating led the NHL by a wide margin.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:19 pm

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

Really Dude, Gaborik and 82 games in the same sentence, are you kidding me??? He's only played over 70 games 5 times in 12 years.  If you're counting on Gaborik for anything other than a key mistake at a critical point in a game and complete lack of any kind of interest in the defensive side of the rink…it’s going to be a long year for you my friend.  I truly feel sorry for you and what you’re about to endure this season.

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: September 8, 2011 4:54 pm

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

Can't wait to go!!
Let's go RaNGERS!!!!
Should be at least 10,000 blueshirts down there!!!

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 4:44 pm

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

id tune in just to watch sid get knocked on his ass again! thats if he didnt take another dive first!

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2011 11:43 am

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

What about Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg(to boost the new team), and Calgary? Those all in colder weather than any in the Northeast and its Canada - they live for hockey. 

I honestly would like to see two Winter Classics a year - one West and one East.  

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2011 11:10 am

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic


You say that the US hosts of Winter Classic games should be limited to "NY, BOS, Chi, PHI, DET, and MSP."  Great - except you left out 2 of the best hockey cities in the U.S. right now.

That's flat out idiotic.  Pittsburgh is, and has been for a while, one of the best US hockey cities (if not THE best).  And this is in all categories.  The Penguins have one of the most exciting teams.  Their attendance is phenominal.  The number of hockey fans in the area is huge and still growing.  Their TV ratings are among the best in the league.  And the team is one of the best performance-wise every year now. 

Also, Washington is one of the best places right now for hockey.  They have some great young players in Ovechkin, Semin, and Backstrom.  They have been successful (regular season).  There's no reason Washington shouldn't be a host city.

Just being a large city isn't enough.  The game is going to be a hot ticket and sell out a giant stadium regardless of the city it's in.  So it doesn't need to be held in NY just because there's a ton of people there.  Face it, the Rangers and Islanders aren't very popular outside of NY, they don't attract huge ratings.  I wouldn't tune in to watch any of their players specifically.  Same goes for the Flyers.  Yeah, Philly is a big city, and Flyers fans have been coming out of the woodwork a bit the last few seasons, but they overhauled their team, and to be honest it's not that exciting of a team to watch anymore.

You mention Minneapolis/St Paul.  This is a college hockey city.  They have fans there.  But your average NHL fan couldn't name 5 players for this team.  They're just not that exciting.  Maybe if they got Gordon Bombay to coach the game - I would watch.

So in conclusion - I think the top US host cities for Winter Classic games are - Pittsburgh, Chicago, Washington, Boston, and Detroit. New York and Philly would be next because of their size.  As a longshot - a game in Denver might be cool.

Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: September 8, 2011 10:59 am

Letter to Flyers fans includes Winter Classic

How is this "home" game not included in season ticket pacakages?  Need to buy a different ticket for a home game, that is just wrong.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or